ESA MN 2013 workshop: Launching a Scientists’ Speakers Bureau

During the ESA annual meeting in Minneapolis, this workshop will enable ESA to move forward with a scientists’ speakers bureau for Earth stewardship outreach in faith communities. An excellent line-up of ESAmnspeakers includes:

Matthew Anderson, Executive Director of Audubon MN, former Executive Director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment; Nalini Nadkarni, University of Utah; Dorothy Boorse, Gordon College; Doug Boucher, Union of Concerned Scientists; Rick Hammer, Hardin-Simmons University; Greg Hitzhusen, Ohio State University and Ohio Interfaith Power and Light; Leanne Jablonski, University of Dayton and Marianist Environmental Education Center; Terry Chapin, Past President, ESA

Workshop Description:

Workshop 8941: Launching A Scientists’ Speakers Bureau for Outreach to Faith and Justice Communities

Time: Thursday, August 8, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM

Place: Director’s 2, Hilton Minneapolis

Description: This session builds on previous ESA annual meeting sessions to advance the implementation of a national speakers bureau in partnership with national faith bodies and community-based justice organizations. With 83% of the American public (including 71% of ESA members surveyed) claiming membership in over 300,000 congregations, religious organizations and their partners are uniquely positioned to engage citizens in ecological issues. Developing ecologically fruitful collaboration between scientists and these communities can help bridge historic divides and provide sound science to shape sustainable ecosystem futures. Over the past year, participants from 2011 and 2012 ESA meeting speakers bureau workshops have piloted diverse outreach efforts to faith communities nationwide, tracked their impact, and shared outcomes through ongoing networking conference calls and webinars. We will review the successes and challenges of ESA members’ outreach to date, highlight the analysis of these outreach approaches, and summarize the commitments of partner organizations to help formally launch the speakers bureau. We will also address remaining issues related to implementing the speakers bureau, and discuss and formulate recommendations for ESA and our partners. Speakers from partner organizations (e.g. Interfaith Power and Light, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Union of Concerned Scientists) will highlight collaborators’ perspectives in this emerging dialogue between ecologists and a range of communities, and describe key examples of outreach that can be replicated. All ESA attendees interested in outreach to faith and justice communities are encouraged to participate, add to the discussion, or learn how to get involved in similar outreach.

Summary: Organizing session and overview of successful pilot projects as we implement a speakers bureau to provide sound science and timely ecological information to local communities and influential social organizations, including faith and EJ-impacted communities. Contribute to the speakers network as we discuss outreach results, and finalize recommendations for national launch.

Speakers Bureau Webinar (March 2013)

Ecological Society of AmericaJoin us for a webinar on Mar 26, 2013 at noon EDT.Register now! interested in doing Earth stewardship outreach to faith communities are welcome to join this webinar to continue discussion and sharing of resources leading to the creation of a national scientists’ speakers bureau for Earth stewardship outreach to faith communities. Cassandra Carmichael, National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Programs Director, and Alexei Laushkin, Evangelical Environmental Network Sr. Communications Director, will share strategies and resources for successful outreach; Dr. Rick Hammer will report on outreach in his Baptist church in Texas; Rev. Bob Murphy of Cape Cod will report on faith-based public health and safety efforts related to climate change. For more information, visit:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements

Resources and Documents that may be referred to in the webinar:

Dr. Rick Hammer article on biodiversity from a Biblical perspective, published in the Baptist Standard, TX

Sun Come Up (climate change documentary from Catholic Climate Coalition) Youth Education Packet

Speakers will include Cassandra Carmichael (National Council of Churches EcoJustice Programs Director, hosting), and Alexei Laushkin (Evangelical Environmental Network, Sr. Communications Director)

As always, we invite contributions from anyone on the speakers bureau list, especially to report on ecology/science outreach work you have been doing in faith communities, and to raise current questions.

We will also be looking forward to summarizing all our efforts at ESA MN in August — the 8/8/13, 11:30am workshop description is found here, and you can click here for the Survey Monkey link to record your outreach experiences — and taking next steps to implement the speakers bureau.  Thanks for all your efforts, and we’re looking forward to connecting again on March 26!

Best wishes,

Greg Hitzhusen

Speakers Bureau Conference Call (November 2012)


Some files for use in Thursday’s call:

PresbyEcoStewardsMGregory (Megan’s powerpoint)

GreenFaithYouthPoemDoll (Julie’s slide)

also note other resources at:

Call 1:  Thursday, November 15, 2012, 8:00-9:30pm Eastern 
Call 2: Tuesday, March 26, 2013, Noon-1:30pm Eastern (webinar)


8:00pm-9:30pm* eastern, Thursday, Nov. 15

1) Welcome, Updates and Announcements

2) Outreach reports

-Julie Doll (Michigan State), Michigan youth outreach

-Joseph Leyda (Leyda Consulting), approaching congregations as an outsider

-open to others

3) Resources and Connections to help speakers find faith communities interested in outreach

-Megan Gregory (Cornell) Presbyterian Earth Care Congregations program

-Bill Bradlee (Interfaith Power and Light, State Affiliate Coordinator) and/or Susan Stephenson (Executive Director), how to connect with IPL networks

-Alexei Laushkin (Sr. Communications Director, Evangelical Environmental Network), connecting with evangelical congregations

-open to others

4) Further Resources and Support

-open discussion to propose outreach resources to feature in February’s follow-up webinar, and for general posting at

-Leanne Jablonski (U Dayton, Marianist Environmental Ed Center), use of Sun Come Up video in Catholic and other communities

5) Evaluation Measures and Next Steps

-open discussion about how best to track and evaluate the outreach we’re piloting this year, summarize it during an ESA MN 2013 workshop, and make recommendations for implementing the speakers bureau

*note: some of you can only make the call until 9pm Eastern, and that is fine – for those who can only join late in the call, we’ll make room to add your comments

Other reports:

From Meg Lowman: sorry I can not be on this call! Of note, I just returned from speaking to Coptic priests in Ethiopia, and will be leading a workshop for them on Ecosystem Services this janauary. And I continue to lecture to USA venues — information on my website about the project of religion and science at

From Dorothy Boorse: I am in on two things that might be of interest to the group. The first is an initiative of the LauSanne movement (a largely evangelical Christian but worldwide, not just American) and World Evangelical Alliance (also worldwide) , who called a meeting of scientists and theologians two weeks ago to draft a statement on care of the environment and climate change- in the hopes that this will serve as another key document in the Christian faith community- it is a call for action .

Here is a press release, although I think the call to action is still not released

The second is that the Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists, a small group that was basically formed when there were so many threats to the endangered species act a decade ago, is getting more active.  There will be some things coming out of that soon. They might have an interest in partnering.

From Rick Hammer: I thought I would briefly report back with some of the outreach work I have been engaged in and what’s on the horizon. First, I am a member of a moderate Baptist church with a membership of about 1900 here in Texas.  I had lunch with my pastor last week to discuss the possibility of me leading and teaching a Sunday evening course on Christian environmental stewardship. He was enthusiastic and the plan is to get this class started this fall. I may have the chance to speak to the entire congregation on a Sunday morning as well. For the class I plan to use Calvin DeWitt’s ‘ Earthwise: A Guide to Hopeful Creation Care.’ In my writing and teaching I try to bring the perspective of a biologist with an emphasis on what biodiversity is and why it’s important.  I have written a short essay about biodiversity from a Christian Biblical perspective and had this published in the Baptist Standard, which is a biweekly publication for all Texas Baptists.